Tuscarora Assistant Leaders talk about their jobs and experiences



LEESBURG VA: Tuscarora Performing Arts has many student leaders to put on their shows. The students design the set, lighting cues, sound cues and many other tasks to help put on the fall plays, spring musicals, and many other shows that Tuscarora produces. 


“My favorite part of my job is being able to be a part of theatre, being able to be part of the set and the design of it and painting it. Being able to call something my own,” Assistant Artistic Designer Emma Hecht, junior, said. 


Some of the leaders of the Tuscarora’s theatre department are assistants. Such as Miles Johnson, junior, who is the assistant student technical director to, junior, William Anderson, Tuscarora’s student technical director. 


Johnson states, “I work for Will, he is the one in charge, so I am the one that puts the boots on the ground. I mostly organize and make sure everyone is on task.” 


By separating the responsibilities, it keeps the head from getting overwhelmed and overstressed. 


“I feel like I have helped Rachael out so she is not putting as much weight and pressure on herself. Because she was doing everything before and now I can help her, like with the A-Frames. Last year those didn’t get done and this year, I was able to do those and get that done for theatre and be able to help out,” Hecht said. 


Another job of the assistants is to learn from their head, or mentor. When the head graduates, many times their assistant takes over for them. While being an assistant, they learn everything they need to know so they are prepared for when they become the head of their expertise.


“I will be taking it up next year,” sophomore Rose Phifer, the assistant sound to senior Joshua Chamberlain, stated, “I think to improve it, I am going to have my assistant have more jobs because sometimes Josh is so good at his job, it leaves me kind of stranded.” 


Assistants are a necessity to the theatre department. They help improve and grow the department with their ideas, skills and helping hands. With more student leaders, the process of putting on theatre productions is safer and more efficient. 


“I am trying to make tech more friendly, trying to make it to where people can talk to us and I know the booth is somewhat secluded from everyone else,” Phifer said. 


Anyone with experience can become an assistant in the theatre department by applying to be a leader at the end of the year and going through an interview process. 


“I would recommend this job to someone. It’s a really fulfilling job because your job mainly is not to design the set but to be there and help everyone else do it,” Johnson stated. 


There are assistant leadership jobs anywhere from assistant graphic designer to assistant choreographer. To become an assistant, or to go for any leadership position, talk to anyone in theatre to direct you to a student leader or Mr. Justin Daniel, head of the department.